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Old 04-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #21
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Saw this sign posted this morning on the station pair at Pershing Square:



This is kind of a big deal. The stations in question are located right outside Grand Central Terminal (one of the largest and busiest rail stations in the world), and at 120 docks between them, Pershing North and South constitute the largest single-block docking array in the entire Citibike system:



So removing the whole thing for a period of 4-5 months right in the middle of peak riding season is going to be a SERIOUS problem. Yes, there are many surrounding stations, but they're all quite small and are no doubt about to be overwhelmed.


Yet another motivation for me to get Ѕhіtibike II completed and moved into the city. It's about 80% done at this point, just gotta re-install the brakes and the accessories. I've been slacking...
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Old 04-23-2014, 12:25 PM   #22
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Looking at getting a bike for riding around downtown on the weekends. I haven't seen anything I'm interested in on Craigslist, and there doesn't seem to be much under $300 anyway.

I'm considering Target.

Schwinn Mens 700c Median 28" Bike - Green : Target

Am I crazy or do you guys think this will get the job done for a couple miles a week?
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:19 PM   #23
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They weren't kidding:






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Schwinn Mens 700c Median 28" Bike - Green : Target

Am I crazy or do you guys think this will get the job done for a couple miles a week?
I've been surprisingly pleased with the quality of the current-gen Schwinn bikes, made by Pacific Cycles.

Understand that you will have to dismantle the bike, clean and re-lube every single bearing (wheels, crank, pedals, stem) with a quality lubricant (I use Park Tools PPL-1 Polylube), and re-assemble and re-adjust everything. And yes, all the chrome bits will rust if you operate the bike in the wet. But aside from that, I've found the quality of the parts used to be entirely adequate at the price range, and superior to some of the other brands which are marketed at the same segment (eg: Huffy, Roadmaster, etc.)

Also, replace the tubes. I also prefer to replace the tires with higher-performance slicks, but at an absolute minimum you should install better tubes than what it comes with. Otherwise you'll be airing up the tires once a week or more.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:27 PM   #24
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Eh I have to air up the tires on the bike I borrow from my neighbor every time I use it anyway.

Sucks to hear about the citibike station, they are just starting to pop up around Indianapolis. I'm not sure when they are opening but I'll be walking by one tonight on my way to the bars.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:43 PM   #25
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Eh I have to air up the tires on the bike I borrow from my neighbor every time I use it anyway.
I run Slime brand tubes on all my bikes. In my experience, while the slime isn't terribly effective at sealing punctures, it does have the side-effect of vastly decreasing the porosity of the tube and improving the sealing ability of the valve. I only have to air up once every couple of months, and even then it's usually only 5-10 PSI low. (I run Michelin Pilot City tires at ~ 70 PSI.)



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Sucks to hear about the citibike station, they are just starting to pop up around Indianapolis.
That's cool- I had no idea that Indy was doing a bikeshare system. I've never heard of the company building it (B-cycle), but it looks like a decent system.

The Citibike station at Pershing isn't gone- they split it into two halves and re-installed it nearby. One half is on Vanderbilt at 42nd, the other at 41st & Madison. So still within about a block of Grand Central, but both are now even further away from where I work.

Hardly matters. With Spring upon us, availability in the morning around 33rd & 6th (where I come up from PATH) is getting down to nearly zero, so it's time I put Shitibike II into service.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #26
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My old steel bike is now setup for commuting.

The downtube shifters mean I will be using it like a single speed with the ability to downshift for the one steep hill on the way home from work.


I really want to upgrade the old brake calipers on it though because they are atrocious. I rode them last year, and they were fine and then upgraded but they went on my new carbon bike, because the reach really wasn't enough.

Im debating trying to find a set of $10 MTB wheels on the used market with discs for the hubs and then cheaply re-lace them to the 27" wheels. cold set the frame and fork and being the welder I am, weld the ISO tabs to the fork and frame for discs. Ideal setup for a commuter bike.
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Old 04-29-2014, 02:30 AM   #27
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My old steel bike is now setup for commuting.

The downtube shifters mean I will be using it like a single speed with the ability to downshift for the one steep hill on the way home from work.


I really want to upgrade the old brake calipers on it though because they are atrocious. I rode them last year, and they were fine and then upgraded but they went on my new carbon bike, because the reach really wasn't enough.

Im debating trying to find a set of $10 MTB wheels on the used market with discs for the hubs and then cheaply re-lace them to the 27" wheels. cold set the frame and fork and being the welder I am, weld the ISO tabs to the fork and frame for discs. Ideal setup for a commuter bike.
I'd only be wary of that because most non-disc frames usually don't have much structure to attach the tabs, on most modern frames the disc tabs are part of the drop outs. I remember the first disc frame I had broke because the tabs were just brazed on to the tubes and the tubes eventually failed.

That said, NOVA sells the tabs: http://www.cycle-frames.com/bicycle-...TAB-MOUNT.html
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:14 AM   #28
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Well aware. thanks.


I have started my goal of a daily commute via bike. Its not a bad ride at all... 7km each way (roughly 4.2miles). with only a few long dips in the road.

It just so happens that today will be the will power test. Calling for rain this evening, and its only 7 degrees C(~44F).

I also busted the retaining bolt on my commuter bike seat post trying to tighten it, so im on my carbon bike today.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:14 PM   #29
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Finally got Shitibike II finished. One last pose with the twins before they are split up:




And now, the same image but with a bunch of stupid filters applied to make it look "vintage," because, you know, the Wayfarer / Admiral is a cheap, badly-made knockoff of a popular 70s-vintage bike:



Nah.


Anyway, brought the bike into Manhattan this morning. I gotta say, it feels oddly gratifying riding my own bike through the mean streets of NYC as opposed to a Citibike. Beyond the simple, pragmatic factors (eg: it feels lighter and more maneuverable despite actually being heavier*, it's obviously in perfect tune, etc.) there's the simple fact that you're not a "real" cyclist in the city until you're riding your own bike- suddenly all those folks on the bright blue step-throughs with their pathetic 26" balloon tires seem like second-class citizens to be looked down upon, rather than comrades on two wheels**.


It looks somehow at home in its native environment, crammed into the rack at 23rd & 6th right next to the subway entrance, along with a few other cheap, fender-and-basket-equipped commuter bikes.



Hopefully it'll be there in the morning.



* = 52 lbs, to be precise. Of course, that includes 11 lbs of chain and locks, a full water bottle (I refuse to call it a bidon), fenders, chainguard, rack, basket, slime-filled tubes, etc. This, incidentally, is why I find it hilariously incomprehensible when I hear "advanced" recreational cyclists talk about the weight of components in grams, and use this to justify sub-optimal design choices, such as electing to use rim brakes vs. disc brakes on the grounds that disc brakes would add 50 grams to the weight of the bike.

** = This must be how it feels to be Hustler or Savington, looking down their upturned noses at us sad, pathetic fools with our fenders and cargo baskets.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:11 PM   #30
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After today, I get having fenders....but in no way am i ever going to do it.


If its nice enough to ride to work without getting wet, I will ride. Riding home getting soaked is fine. Fenders would only make it minimally better... and then the rear fender keeping the spray out of your pants would really be the only concern. Im not using it as sole transportation, so everything goes into my backpack.... which can hold my lunch, keys, wallet and phone in addition to the bladder.

Getting a seatpost tomorrow i hope if the LBS has an oddball 26.8mm post for me so I can do these wet rides on my version of the "shitbike".
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:10 AM   #31
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Commuter bikes? Meet the grad school special. Gear shifting? Lol. Bent front wheel? Check. Rust? VW guys are jealous. Brakes? Why yes they make a ton of noise. Will it get stolen from campus? Hell no.

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Old 04-30-2014, 11:44 PM   #32
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After today, I get having fenders....but in no way am i ever going to do it.


If its nice enough to ride to work without getting wet, I will ride. Riding home getting soaked is fine. Fenders would only make it minimally better...
I've found that there are two basic types of fenders.

Refer back to the third image in post #29. See that bike with the green bag over the saddle? It's using a crappy, ineffective rear fender. Incomplete coverage, flimsy and flip-floppety... At best it'll keep your *** dry while your legs still get wet.

See the bike just to the right of it? The one with the chrome fenders that hug the tires and provide full coverage? I can literally ride that bike through an inch of standing water and not get wet. I've found this style of fender to be relatively uncommon in the aftermarket (they come as OEM on the Schwinn Wayfarer / Admiral / Collegiate), but there are a few sources out there for fenders that provide nearly full coverage and anchor to the frame at multiple points for rigidity. Example: Planet Bike Speedez Hybrid Fender - Locks, Mirrors and Fenders


Irony: No sooner have I pressed Shitibike II into service than Shitibike I decides that it needs some love. Admittedly, I have neglected it just a tad, but holy cow, the front wheel bearings feel like they were packed with a mixture of carbide dust and rat semen.



It's salvageable- actually cleaned up pretty nicely. Though, of course, I managed to drop one ball down the sink while rinsing them in acetone, so now I have to walk to the train station tomorrow and hope that I can find a replacement somewhere in the city.



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Commuter bikes? Meet the grad school special. Gear shifting? Lol. Bent front wheel? Check. Rust? VW guys are jealous. Brakes? Why yes they make a ton of noise. Will it get stolen from campus? Hell no.
Hahaha. Oh, man- that takes me back.

I started college with an old three-speed steel beach cruiser back in '95. It went through numerous wheels, forks, handlebars, freewheels, etc., but the bike just kept on rolling. It finally developed a crack in the weld between the top tube and the steering tube just a few weeks before I graduated, and, I **** you not, it completely fell apart on the very same day that I got my diploma, literally as I was riding home from the ceremony.

I abandoned it on the side of the road and hitchhiked the rest of the way.

That bike was a ******* monster. I wish I had a picture of it, but it exists now only in my memory.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:31 AM   #33
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and hope that I can find a replacement somewhere in the city.
shouldn't be hard, if you know what size ball it is.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:54 AM   #34
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shouldn't be hard, if you know what size ball it is.
Yeah, I mic'd it at 4.75mm, and will stop by a shop this evening.

Update: not impressed with the Kool-Stop salmon pads in the rain.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #35
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not sure if your trying to decent a mountain in the rain or not, but on my wet ride the other day I was more worried about tires having enough friction than brakes.

You might want to consider it as a shitty braking surface on the rim and not the pad.


Are they a machined braking surface or just flat finish rims like come on the ultra low grade bikes?
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:53 AM   #36
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not sure if your trying to decent a mountain in the rain or not,
No mountains, just NYC streets filled with busses and taxis.


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You might want to consider it as a shitty braking surface on the rim and not the pad.

Are they a machined braking surface or just flat finish rims like come on the ultra low grade bikes?
They started as a shitty, flat-finish surface, and then I spent a few hours wet-sanding them by hand with 220 grit to produce a nice, machined-like surface.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:00 PM   #37
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I would put my money on the wheels being the culprit... being that I stop more than fast enough (will skid) in the rain with my bike on Tektro brake calipers and pads (cheap) with good wheels with proper machined surfaces.

Im 185lbs and the combined bike/rider is just over 200lbs plus a few lbs for gear/clothes.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:04 PM   #38
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Yeah its got to be your wheels, since even those gray pads didnt work for you. Though mine normally only lock in the rain when the pads get caught on the seam in the rim.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #39
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Yeah its got to be your wheels, since even those gray pads didnt work for you. Though mine normally only lock in the rain when the pads get caught on the seam in the rim.
How does it have to be my wheels? What characteristic of bare, well-sanded aluminum is different from my wheels to yours?

They GreyMatter pads were worse than the stock black ones. I seriously question how that company is still in business.

The wheels I have on the black bike are the same as the ones on the red bike, on which I'm still using the SwissStop greens. Those work ok.

I'm not saying that the Salmons are horrible or that they don't work at all (they're better than OEM), only that they're not as good as the SwissStops, and that I keep hoping to find a pad that gives me something which at least vaguely resembles the sort of all-weather consistency that I experience with disc / drum / roller brakes.
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Old 05-01-2014, 12:21 PM   #40
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The gray matter people stay in business because they're made by cane creek, who sell revalved ohlins for bicycles among other high end products.
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